Cable operators blackmail media houses into blacking out SC proceedings in obscenity case


In a joint meeting of cable operators and TV channel-owners on Wednesday it was decided that the Supreme Court’s proceedings in a case against them with regards to obscenity, illegal Indian channels and a ban on senior journalist Ansar Abbasi from appearing in any program would be blacked out.
It was decided that even top anchors would be bound by their respective managements not to touch these issues. Almost all owners or senior executives of top Pakistani channels including ARY, Geo, and Express “bowed” to the blackmailing tactics of the cable operators and agreed to follow the decision of the Cable Operators Association. According to sources, cable operators had threatened TV channel-owners that if they did not follow the decision, their channels would be put at the end of the tuning list in distribution networks across the country.
They also demanded sacking of Ansar Abbasi, however this demand was not met. The Cable Operators Association decided to counter the Supreme Court’s recent actions against obscenity and illegal Indian channels being shown on cable networks around the country.
Cable Operator Association Chairman Khalid Arain, along with two dozen members, interacted with media owners/directors and none of the owners dared to defend the freedom of speech as they were threatened of being “taught a lesson” in case the cable operators’ businesses were hurt. The cable operators made it clear that they would not accept any demand for the closure of illegal Indian channels particularly Star Plus and Sony which brought them money. A three-judge bench comprising Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry, Justice Jawwad S Khawaja and Justice Tariq Parvez had taken up a petition of former Jamaat-e-Islami chief Qazi Hussain Ahmed and a letter by Justice (r) Wajhiuddin Ahmed to the chief justice on which a notice had been issued to the PEMRA chairman. The cable association members clearly told the channel owners to completely blackout the Supreme Court’s proceedings in the case, which was expected to issue a strict order against illegal Indian channels and the unchecked obscenity.


  1. Your comments are so true. You know exactly the inside story. This is what we must make the Supreme Court understand. I wanted to share the following on the silent nature of security establishment narrated in the News a week ago. “Nobody knows or everybody including the security establishment is closing eyes to the fact that there is an unwritten agreement between PEMRA and cable operators where the latter are allowed to show Indian channels namely Sony & Star Plus besides relaying two extra CD channels through their networks. This agreement has been in practice since Musharraf era when PEMRA needed the help of cable operators to punish delinquent Pakistani TV channels. Such channels were usually used to be off aired by the operators on a slight tip of PEMRA to the operators association. Recently, the tactic has been changed to shifting such a channel to 70-80 position in order to disturb signal of the channel to viewers, thus avoiding the blame of off-airing the channel at all without fulfilling legal formalities. Such a liberty to cable operators is a good source of income for both the operators and high ups too. Technically and practically, it is just an effort of one or two days to close all such content through cable networks throughout the country if there is resolve at the ministry of information or PEMRA level. Otherwise off airing such channels by PEMRA on intervention/orders of supreme court or security establishment shall be remembered as a temporary relief to national culture on PEMRA’s part against the propaganda campaign on Indian channels, specifically targeting the young generation, culture and nationalism.”

  2. IN Hrami Chnlz ko fillfor band kiya jay .ARY.GEO .EXpress network. Agr ap log suchay pakistani hain tu plz boyecott this channels. AMerica ka jo Yar hai Gaddar hai Gaddar hai

  3. Plz open star plus plz, this chanul is open in many cities than y not in rawalpindi. Plz 4 god sake open star plus.

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